As we were constantly searching for inspiration online to help us become better at our work. Poppytalk (the blog) was a place to catalogue this inspiration. We found it rather difficult to find quality work online during that period and it took a tremendous amount of time to find things.
As time went on, and as we continued writing on Poppytalk and as Etsy developed, sometime in 2006 we started an Etsy Pick of the Day on the blog; where everyday we posted an item from Etsy. We did this for a few months (on one of our sidebars) and started realizing it would make sense to catalogue this in some form, and so for fun we started an "Etsy Pick of the Day" blog (visit it - it's fun to see the designs then -circa 2007 and the people who made them). So as time went on, we realized Poppytalk was sort of a middle man between artists and buyers/retailers/press. There was still no huge search abilities on Etsy at the time (no treasuries, no color search, just the time machine and a search button really); and people started emailing asking us to write about their work so they could be seen and heard. We started to become a place to find quality handmade goods and art.
As Earl was studying/working in new media by then, we decided together to build an actual place where people could meet - buyers and sellers - much like an arts and crafts fair - only online. Hence Poppytalk Handmade. Because it would take some manpower to upkeep such an endeavor, we felt we had to charge something to cover administration (marketing, planning, writing blog posts, admin, etc). We wanted to make it affordable to the artists (fun fact: we have still not increased our prices in five years), we wanted it to be successful for artists to get their name out there, to introduce new product they may have to our readers and we wanted to build a community. It's all still evolving and we look forward to what's to come.
We want to thank all our readers and participants for help making this happen every month for the past 5 years (and almost 7 for the blog)! We'll have some surprises in the weeks to come, so stay tuned! In the meantime, check out our new Indie Love market! It's the beginning of the holiday shopping season, and if you're like us, this year we're planning on doing our shopping early to relieve a bit of the stress.